Mou leaves Madrid, Gerrard doesn't arrive

José’s first week in charge of Real Madrid largely involved scowling his way through radio interviews, scowling whilst pottering about the training centre and scowling through meetings where the club’s increasingly isolated sporting director Jorge Valdano probably wasn’t invited.

But even that was more than enough for Marca, who have waved 'The Special One' off on his holidays like a lovesick teenager with the conviction that Florentino may have found the right manager for Madrid at the eighth attempt.

Even before Mourinho has taken a training session, never mind managed a game for Madrid, Monday’s edition is asking “who’s to say that if things don’t go well, if titles are won then we could be looking at the new Ferguson?e”

The blog would suggest in riposte that the only way the manager-mauling club could ever be linked with the name ‘Fergie’ is if the Black Eyed Peas eye candy version was to form part of the squad’s Champions League incentive scheme.

However, digging a little deeper into the paper’s wonderfully insane suggestion and it looks like Marca have had to slip into the “Mourinho is great / Florentino is great” default setting after Sunday’s Steven Gerrard to Madrid story died a bit of a death.

After claiming that Gerrard had told Rafa Benítez that he was off to the Spanish capital, the paper has quickly realised that Rafa is no longer at Anfield and that Stevie Me could perhaps be persuaded to stay at Anfield with what is left rattling around Liverpool’s piggy bank.

And it is Rafa the unemployed gaffer who is the main theme of the ramblings in Monday’s AS with the Spaniard being attacked by the paper even before he has signed up with Inter Milan.

The crime that the former Liverpool man is being accused of is the capital offence of being mean to Real Madrid with his reported demand that Maicon stays at Inter.

To ram home the point concerning Rafa’s insulting, insubordinate ways the paper cites past examples where the manager failed to show Madrid suitable respect and deference including daring to complain about refereeing bias when Pablo Aimar was sent off in the Bernabeu in 2003 whilst Benítez was in charge of Valencia.

Mad Tomas Roncero writes that Rafa should follow Mourinho’s example of banishing Guti after his comments that the midfielder wanted to leave Madrid, something he suggests Inter’s Brazilian fullback has done too.

“It’s what Benítez should do with Maicon,” claims Roncero.

Across the desert and down the hill to Barcelona and Sport have clearly had the air conditioning switched off in their building by randomly suggesting a Zlatan for Robinho swap whilst predicting that a deal will finally be done for Cesc Fabregas after the presidential elections.

If that deal should take place, Mundo Deportivo are writing that Arsenal will want €70m - a figure that the club’s expected new president Sandro Rosell has said would be too high. And it’s a figure that is too lofty for the paper’s readers as well with a poll reporting that only 8% would fork out for Arsenal’s dazzling demands. 

On the topic of the Barcelona elections, the utterly filthy, acrimonious campaigning now has less than a week to go - a bit of a shame really - but that’s very good news for Rosell who sounds like he has not been having very much fun at all in his quest to become the new King of Cataluyna.

“I expected rumours, insinuations, a few lies...but not people travelling to another country to investigate someone’s personal and private life,” complained the former Nike brand ubermeister.

“At this rate they are going to accuse me of killing Kennedy,” added Rosell from his grassy knoll.

Elsewhere in la Liga, Villarreal are set to shed up to eight first-teamers over the summer. Osasuna will be causing early August injury crises for both WBA and Bolton with friendlies with both sides.

And Atlético Madrid are reactivating ‘Operation Fanni’ - and that has nothing whatsoever to do with plans reported in Monday’s dailies to head to Thailand for a pre-season tour..

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